During a routine check-up at age two, Devon’s family received the news every parent dreads; that their child is sick.
When the doctor listened to Devon’s heart, it was clear that something wasn’t right. After a series of tests, the results were rushed to McMaster’s Children’s Hospital for analysis. Due to his extremely low platelet count, Devon was in dire need of a platelet transfusion.
The doctors feared that Devon might be facing leukemia (blood cancer) or aplastic anemia. However, after a bone marrow biopsy to determine what was happening with his blood, Devon was finally diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome — a syndrome that results in an over active bone marrow that produces abnormal cells that are destroyed before they enter the blood stream.
With no cure available, Devon’s doctors and family knew there was only course of action to take; a stem cell transplant from a matched donor. While searching for a match, Devon had to have weekly platelet and red blood cell transfusions in order to maintain an adequate blood supply in his body.
Devon’s family searched for a bone marrow donor or a cord blood unit but didn’t find a match. With a baby on the way and upon the suggestion of their doctor, Devon’s family began looking into family cord blood banking. Miraculously, when Devon’s sister, Ellison, was born, she turned out to be a 9/10 match. Ellison’s cord blood was banked and used in a transplant to treat Devon.
It was a long road to recovery, but today, Devon is doing great! He has had his three-year post transplant check up (he goes every six months) and after four years he goes on a maintenance program.
Devon’s family recently welcomed their third child and (obviously) banked her cord blood with Insception Lifebank.
The possibilities of cord blood and cord tissue are growing every day. Read more about current treatments and emerging research.